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Encyclopedia > Niger river
Map of Niger River with Niger River basin in green
Map of Niger River with Niger River basin in green

The Niger River (pronounced /ˈnaɪdʒɚ/ NYE-jer) is the principal river of western Africa, extending about 4180 km (2600 miles). Its drainage basin is 2,117,700 square kilometres (817,600 sq mi) in area.[1] It runs in a crescent through Guinea, Mali, Niger, on the border with Benin and then through Nigeria, discharging through a massive delta, known as the Niger Delta of the Oil Rivers, into the Gulf of Guinea. The Niger is the third-longest river in Africa, exceeded only by the Nile and the Congo River (also known as the Zaïre River). Its main tributary is the Benue River. The River Niger was a Tony Award-winning play by Joseph A. Walker. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (900x566, 48 KB) Summary Map of the w:Niger River, and Niger River Basin shown in green. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (900x566, 48 KB) Summary Map of the w:Niger River, and Niger River Basin shown in green. ... For other uses, see River (disambiguation). ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... A drainage basin is the area within the drainage basin divide (blue outline), and drains the surface runoff and river discharge (green lines) of a contiguous area. ... Nile River delta, as seen from Earth orbit. ... The Niger Delta, the delta of the Niger River in Nigeria, is a densely populated region sometimes called the Oil Rivers because it was once a major producer of palm oil. ... The Oil Rivers is a name for the delta of the Niger River in Nigeria. ... Map of the Gulf of Guinea, showing the chain of islands formed by the Cameroon line of volcanoes. ... For other uses, see Nile (disambiguation). ... The Congo River (for a time known as Zaire River) is the largest river in Western Central Africa. ... Look up tributary in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The Benue River or Bénoué River is the major tributary of the Niger River. ...


For much of the 18th century, the exact location and course of the Niger remained virtually unknown to Europe, but many expeditions to plot the river were unsuccessful. In 1788 the African Association was formed in England to promote the exploration of Africa in the hopes of locating the Niger, and in June of 1786 the Scottish explorer Mungo Park was the first European to lay eyes on the river. The source of the Niger River and the location of Timbuktu werent known to Europeans. ... Mungo Park Title illustration of (1859) Mungo Park (September 10, 1771 – 1806) was a Scottish explorer of the African continent. ...

Contents

Etymology

Niger river at Kulikoro
Niger river at Kulikoro

The origin of the name Niger is not certain. On early European maps it applied only to the middle reaches of the river, in modern Mali, while Quorra or Kworra was used for the lower reaches in modern Nigeria. The name Niger was extended to cover the entire river on maps once Europeans realized that these were one and the same. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 169 KB) Please see the file description page for further information. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 169 KB) Please see the file description page for further information. ... View over Koulikoro Koulikoro is a city in Mali. ...


A good possibility for a source is the Tuareg phrase gher n gheren "river of rivers", shortened to ngher, a local name used along the middle reaches of the river around Timbuktu. For other senses of this name, see Tuareg (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Malian city. ...


It is often assumed, without evidence, that Niger derives from the Latin word for "black", niger, but it would have been more likely for the Portuguese explorers who first wrote this name on their maps to have used the Portuguese word, negro, as they did elsewhere in the world. In any case the Niger is not a blackwater river, which was the motivation for all other rivers that were called black. (See Rio Negro.) Some have rationalized that 'black' may have referred to the color of the people living on the river, but this did not happen to any other river in Africa. Therefore it would seem that the similarity between the name Niger and the Latin word niger is either coincidence, or that knowledge of Latin influenced the spelling of an indigenous name like ngher. For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... Blackwater rivers are rivers with waters colored like black tea to coffee. ...


It is worth mentioning that the Tabula Peutingeriana records a Flumen Girin ("River Girin") with the remark Hoc flumen quidam Grin vocant, alii Nilum appellant; dicitur enim sub terra Etyopium in Nylum ire Lacum,[2] "This river which some are naming Grin is called Nile by others, for it is said to flow under the ground of Ethiopia [i.e. Africa] into the Nile Lake". The Tabula Peutingeriana (Peutinger table) is an itinerarium showing the cursus publicus, the road network in the Roman Empire. ...


The nations of Nigeria and Niger are named after the river. The people who live along it have a variety of names for it, such as Jeliba or Joliba "great river" in Manding, Isa Ber "big river" in Songhay, and Oya, a Yoruba River Niger goddess. Mande (or Manding) is the name of a group of languages which are spoken in several countries in West Africa, including Mandinka and Bambara. ... The Songhay languages (IPA [soŋay], in the dialects of Gao and Timbuktu [soŋoy]) are a group of closely related languages/dialects centered on the middle stretches of the Niger River in present day Mali and Niger, widely used as a lingua franca there ever since the era of...


Geography

Mud houses on the center island at Lake Debo, a wide section of the Niger River
Mud houses on the center island at Lake Debo, a wide section of the Niger River

The Niger River is a relatively "clear" river, carrying only a tenth as much sediment as the Nile because the Niger's headlands are located in ancient rocks that provide little silt.[3] Like the Nile, the Niger floods yearly; this begins in September, peaks in November, and finishes by May.[4] Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2000x1313, 250 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Niger River Lake Débo Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2000x1313, 250 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Niger River Lake Débo Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital... Lake Débo seen from space Mud houses on the center island at Lake Debo Lake Débo is a lake in central part of Mali. ... There is also Nile, a death metal band from South Carolina, USA. The Nile in Egypt Length 6 695 km Elevation of the source 1 134 m Average discharge 2 830 m³/s Area watershed 3 400 000 km² Origin Africa Mouth the Mediterranean Basin countries Uganda - Sudan - Egypt The... For other uses, see Silt (disambiguation). ...


An unusual feature of the river is the Niger Inland Delta, which forms where its gradient suddenly decreases.[5] The result is a region of braided streams, marshes, and lakes the size of Belgium; the seasonal floods make the Delta extremely productive for both fishing and agriculture.[6] The Niger Inland Delta is a large area of lakes and swamps in Mali, around the bifurcated River Niger and its tributary, the River Bani. ... For other uses, see Gradient (disambiguation). ... A braided river channel consists of a network of small channels separated by small islands called braid bars. ... This article is about marsh, a type of wetland. ... For the computer security term, see Phishing. ...


The Niger takes one of the most unusual routes of any major river, a boomerang shape that baffled European geographers for two millennia. Its source is just 240 km (150 mi) inland from the Atlantic Ocean, but the river runs away from the sea into the Sahara Desert, then takes a sharp right turn near the ancient city of Timbuktu (Tombouctou) and heads southeast to the Gulf of Guinea. This article is about the wooden implement. ... “km” redirects here. ... The Sahara is the worlds second largest desert (second to Antarctica), over 9,000,000 km² (3,500,000 mi²), located in northern Africa and is 2. ... This article is about the Malian city. ...


Ancient Romans thought that the river near Timbuktu was part of the Nile River (e.g., Pliny, N.H. 5.10), a belief also held by Ibn Battuta, while early 17th-century European explorers thought that it flowed west and joined the Senegal River. The true course was probably known to many locals, but Westerners only established it in the late 19th century, firstly mentioned in the book Travels in the Interior of Africa by the Scottish explorer Mungo Park. This strange geography apparently came about because the Niger River is two ancient rivers joined together. The upper Niger, from the source past the trading city of Timbuktu to the bend in the current river, once emptied into a now-gone lake, while the lower Niger started in hills near that lake and flowed south into the Gulf of Guinea. As the Sahara dried up in 4000-1000 BC, the two rivers altered their courses and hooked up. (This explanation is generally accepted, although some geographers disagree.) History - Ancient history - Ancient Rome This is a List of Ancient Rome-related topics, that aims to include aspects of both the Ancient Roman Republic and Roman Empire. ... This article is about the Malian city. ... Pliny the Elder: an imaginative 19th Century portrait. ... It has been suggested that Travelling route of Ibn Batuta be merged into this article or section. ... The Senegal River, in West Africa, forms the border between Senegal and Mauritania. ... This article is about the Scottish people as an ethnic group. ... Mungo Park Title illustration of (1859) Mungo Park (September 10, 1771 – 1806) was a Scottish explorer of the African continent. ... Map of the Gulf of Guinea, showing the chain of islands formed by the Cameroon line of volcanoes. ...


The northern part of the river, known as the Niger bend, is an important area because it is the closest major river and source of water to that part of the Sahara desert. This made it the focal point of trade across the western Sahara, and the centre of the Sahelian kingdoms of Mali and Gao. The Sahelian kingdoms were a series of empires that had many similarities. ... For other uses, see Gao (disambiguation). ...


The surrounding Niger River Basin is one of the distinct physiographic sections of the Sudan province, which in turn is part of the larger African massive physiographic division.


See also

Map of Niger River with Niger River basin in green. ...

References

  1. ^ Gleick, Peter H. (2000). The World's Water, 2000-2001: The Biennial Report on Freshwater. Island Press, p. 33. ISBN 1559637927. ; online at Google Books
  2. ^ The Tabula Peutingeriana, Section 7: Thrace - Achaia and Africa with the Girin River
  3. ^ Reader, John. Africa. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2001. p. 191
  4. ^ Reader, p. 191
  5. ^ Reader, p. 191
  6. ^ Reader, pp. 191-2

External links

International law and the River Niger

  • Bibliography on Water Resources and International Law See Niger River. Peace Palace Libray
  • Fabio Spadi, "The ICJ Judgment in the Benin-Niger Border Dispute: the interplay of titles and ‘effectivités’ under the uti possidetis juris principle", Leiden Journal of International Law(2005) 4, pp. 777-794.

Pictures

Pictures of the Niger River in Mali

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (900x566, 48 KB) Summary Map of the w:Niger River, and Niger River Basin shown in green. ... View of Bamako Bamako district Bamako, population 1,690,471 (2006), is the capital of Mali, and is the biggest city in the country. ... This article is about the Malian city. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Lokoja is the capital city of Kogi State located in central Nigeria. ... Onitsha (pop 7 million 2005 est. ... Overview of the Sokoto River system (green is Nigeria, orange is Niger) The Sokoto River (formerly known as Gublin Kebbi) is a river in north-west Nigeria and a tributary of the River Niger. ... The Bani River is a tributary of the Mali. ... The Kaduna River got its name from the crocodiles that lived in the river and surrounding area. ... The Benue River or Bénoué River is the major tributary of the Niger River. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Niger (river) - MSN Encarta (1698 words)
The Niger Delta, the delta of the Niger River in Nigeria, is a densely populated region sometimes called the Oil Rivers because it was once a major producer of palm oil
Niger (river), river in western Africa, flowing primarily from west to east, through Guinea, Mali, Niger, Benin, and Nigeria to the Gulf of Guinea.
Crocodiles, hippopotamuses, lizards, and snakes are common in the river.
Niger (river) - MSN Encarta (341 words)
The upper Niger was a core area of the old empires of Mali and Songhai; during this time Timbuktu, at the great bend of the river, was a major cultural and commercial centre.
The Scottish explorer Mungo Park determined in 1796 that the river flows east, and in 1830 the English brothers Richard Lander and John Lander proved that the Niger empties into the Gulf of Guinea.
The “W” National Park, bordering the river in Niger, represents a transition zone between savannah and forest territory, and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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